The overarching goal of my research program is to understand how patterns of growth and development are shaped within a lifetime and across evolutionary time. My work is laboratory - and field-based, rooted in interdisciplinary collaboration, and situated in life history and global health frameworks. In my role as a faculty director of faculty development in the Office of Faculty Affairs, I coordinate campus programs focused on faculty mentoring and leadership.
Selected open access publications (see lab website for full publication list):
- 2020. Bernstein RM, O'Connor GK, Vance EA, Affara N, Drammeh S, Dunger DB, Faal A, Ong KK, Prentice AM, Sosseh F, Moore SE. Timing of the infancy-childhood transition in rural Gambia. Frontiers in Endocrinology. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2020.00142
- 2020. Moore SE, Doel AM, Ong KK, Dunger DB, Affara NA, Prentice AM, Bernstein RM, and the HERO-G Working Group. Identification of nutritionally modifiable hormonal and epigenetic drivers of positive and negative growth deviance in rural African fetuses and infants: Project protocol and cohort description. Gates Open Research 4: 25. doi: 10.12688/gatesopenres.13101.1
- 2019. Hinnouho G-M, Bernstein RM, Barffour MA, Arnold CD, Wessels KR, Ratsavong K, Bounheuang B, Kounnavong S, Hess SY. Impact of two forms of daily preventive zinc or therapeutic zinc supplementation for diarrhea on hair cortisol concentrations among rural Laotian children: a randomized controlled trial. Nutrients 11: 47.
- 2018. Nabwera HM, Bernstein RM, Agbla SC, Moore SE, Darboe MK, Colley M, Jallow AT, Bradbury R, Karafin J, Fulford AJ, Prentice AM. Hormonal correlates and predictors of nutritional recovery in malnourished African children. Journal of Tropical Pediatrics 64: 364-372.
- 2018. Turner TR, Bernstein RM, Taylor A, Asangba A, Bekelman T, Danzy Cramer J, Elton S, Harvati K, Williams-Hatala EM, Kauffman L, Middleton E, Richtsmeier J, Szathmáry E, Torres-Rouff C, Thayer Z, Villaseñor A, Vogel E. Participation, representation and shared experiences of women scholars in biological anthropology. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology 165: 126-157.
- 2018. Wessells KR, Brown KH, Kounnavong S, Barffour MA, Hinnouho G-M, Sayasone S, Stephensen CB, Ratsavong K, Larson CP, Arnold CD, Harding KB, Reinhart GA, Lertmemongkolchai G, Fucharoen S, Bernstein RM, Hess SY. 2018. Comparison of two forms of daily preventive zinc supplementation versus therapeutic zinc supplementation for diarrhea on young children's physical growth and risk of infection: study design and rationale for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Nutrition 4: 39.
- 2018. Watson S, Moore SE, Darboe MK, Chen G, Tu, Y-K, Huang Y-T, Eriksen KG, Bernstein RM, Prentice AM, Wild CP, Xu Y, Routledge MN, Gong YY. Impaired growth in rural Gambian infants exposed to aflatoxin: a prospective cohort study. BMC Public Health 18: 1247.
- 2017. Davis JCC, Lewis ZT, Krishnan S, Bernstein RM, Moore SE, Prentice AM, Mills DA, Lebrilla CB, Zivkovic AM. 2017. Growth and morbidity of Gambian infants are influenced by maternal milk oligosaccharides and infant gut microbiota. Scientific Reports 7, 40466.
Graduate Studies Information
Robin Bernstein’s research combines field and laboratory methods to investigate human growth and development, and how nutrition, disease, and environmental factors shape growth patterns in infants and children. She is particularly interested in how breast milk influences the physiological interface between mothers and infants.
Professor Bernstein is currently heading a longitudinal project investigating various factors affecting growth patterns in rural African infants, in order to better understand how and why growth failure occurs in children in low-income countries. This project includes analyses of hormonal, epigenetic, and metabolic pathways in combination with ultrasound measurements of fetal growth and alternate-day measurement of infant growth throughout the first year of life. The scope of this project is made possible through collaborations with multiple internationally-based programs in nutrition, genetics, and pediatric endocrinology.
Areas of Research
Professor Bernstein is looking for graduate students with an interest in:
- maternal and infant health
- growth and development in infancy and childhood
Professor Bernstein welcomes inquiries from students who would like to combine field and laboratory approaches in their own work. She values diversity in education and experience and encourages inquiries from students whether or not they come from a strictly anthropological background.
*Professor Bernstein is currently accepting Ph.D. applicants for Fall 2024
Learn more about Professor Bernstein's research and laboratory